Smoke cloud from the WTC collapsing

Smoke cloud from the WTC collapsing

Today, most Americans are taking moments of silence to remember those two thousand persons killed as a result of the WTC, Pentagon and Pennsylvania plane crashes… usually with tears or at least a solemn respect for their lives and the loved ones they are survived by. Many of us cannot begin to imagine the trauma, the loss, the grief that thousands were going through as their husbands, girlfriends, and brothers called to say that they would no longer be together…

What if something as terrible as the 9/11 events happened every year here in America, every month? What about every week? How could we as a nation full of families and friends bear it? We’d feel weak, abandoned, maybe we’d feel like we could never hope again. Right?

I was reading all the blogs and headlines today all about remembering the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country, and decided to look up the American death toll since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq: 4,261 American troops have been killed in the past six years. Turn to the total number of Iraqi casualties since the war began, and the numbers are staggering, more than 25 times that amount. As of this week 101,539 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the past six years.

It is normal for families and communities to be torn apart on a weekly basis in Iraq. I am so self-centered that I’ve never considered such grief outside my own country, never before thought about the loss Iraqi communities are experiencing day in and day out, or how heavy God’s heart is for them when he sees his creation in despair.

Today I am solidly reminded that as a Christian, my business is not in morality or tradition but in being more like Christ. And that means expanding my emotions to places and people outside myself, allowing my psyche to leave itself and be concerned with the world as Christ is concerned and grieving over. Christ’s compassion and empathy is not just limited to me, or my family, or my country… so I will try to be like Him, and not merely remember America’s losses since 9/11.